Manchester City are on the verge of announcing a partnership with St Etienne.
Not content with already having sister clubs in the MLS and the A League, Manchester City are looking to French side Saint-Etienne in a bid to improve their pool of potential stars.
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The Independent reports that City reps have been busy negotiating with the former European giants in order to conclude a deal as soon as possible.
The St-Etienne co-president, Bernard Caiazzo told the newspaper, “It all looks very serious. City have been impressed by our talent for producing players of Champions League standard. These people are willing to work in depth.”
It is no surprise City have turned to the 10-times league champions; in recent years their academy has been responsible for a number of recognisable stars, including Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, Napoli full back Faouzi Ghoulam and Atletico Madrid centre mid Josuha Guilavogui.
It is believed City blame the Premier League for their need to look abroad. It is their opinion that the current U-21 league system operated in England is nowhere near sufficient for them to be able to develop their youngsters effectively and give them the necessary game time against quality opponents.
The process will be overseen by the Citizens’ French academy manager Patrick Vieira, but he has so far been unavailable for comment.